Greetings to all our loved ones whereever you are in the world.
Time is passing quickly and in less than two months we will be heading home to Canada. The closer it gets to the time we are heading home, the more it seems there is so much yet to do before we leave. And there are so many of our Zimbabwain friends we will want to spend some time with before we say goodbye to them. Although I will be coming back, I am certainly aware that in the short terms when I am back in this country, it will be impossible to reconnect with many of them. I am also very aware that the only constant (besides God) is change and things constantly change. Elections are being held in this country next year and that will change things I'm sure. One of the questions in my mind is how do elections really work in a dictatorship???? I'm not sure what things will be like when I do return. The future awaits!
I was invited to speak at a Nasarene Church in Chitenguiza on Sunday September 3rd. I taught the all church Sunday School and then preached, and then both Glen and I assisted with counting votes at their AGM, then we joined the congregation for lunch. It was an all day affair and we were truly blessed to be part of it all. This is just one of the tremendous opportunities afforded to me during our time here in Zimbabwe.
A few weeks ago, a number of the faculty here at PACC, participated in a Teacher Training Course (picture inserted below) and now we are looking to offer it to our adjunct faculty and faculty from the AOG (Assemblies of God) college. That, if it happens, will be the first week of November. I have been asked to facilitate that. One more thing to do before I leave.
At our college, this semester, I am teaching Old Testament Survey and enjoying every minute of it. In addition to that I am supervising a student who is working through a self-directed counselling course. Here below is a picture of some of my students. I'm sure I learn more than my students do. And it is such fun.
Good things are happening at our college in the midst of extreme economic challenges. Many of these things are thanks to the support received from family and friends in Canada. We are in process of upgrading our classrooms and installing overhead projectors. Our offices have also taken on a new look with new paint and floor tiles. Our ultimate goal is that PACC would become 'THE' theological institute on the African continent and have students coming from all over, not only Africa, but the entire world. We are dreaming big and believing for great things knowing that we serve a mightly God.
And as we prepare for graduation happeing in November, I am so proud of our staff, principal, dean of students, administrator and registrar, all of whom have just graduated with EDBL (which is a Diploma in Business leadership) which will certainly be a huge benefit to our college. I am inserting a picture here. Not sure why I am in the picture, other than the fact that I support them in many ways and was privileged to be a guest at their graduation.
Our friends, the Allans are back from the US. Still waiting on their TEPs. It always proves to be a hassle for those of us from the Western World. We get together quite often and are now looking ahead to when the Norries (missionary friends from Ontario) and the six of us getting together. when we were back in Canada last year, the Allens and the Norries, along with the Wilsons (other missionary friends from Ontario) all got together for a reunion and had a blast. So now we look forward to the three families getting together again. It gives us all the opportunity to talk about the many challenges we face with other missionary couples struggling with the same things whilst remiaing positive with the people here who face much deeper challenges than we do. Although we do need a forum to share, we also realize how truly blessed we are. We just celebrated Thanksgiving and indeed that is a reminder of God's blessings in our lives.
We had a delicious supper, time of fellowship and a few rounds of Mexican Train with the Allens a week or so ago. Glen was the big winner. such fun!
It has been busy at college. We are working hard at our work towards accreditation. The struggles continue and our students from Namibia are facing challenges with getting study permits. Immigration seems to always present challenges whether it is to get work permits as missionaries, or students coming in to get an education. So, we cointinue to pray in all circumstances and refuse to be 'under' the circumstances.
Having said that, our friends the Allans have not yet received their work permits and so are here on visitor's visas. they have a lawyer assisting them along with the National Church of AOG.
Out for a walk this morning. Took some pictures of the beautiful Jacaronda trees which are in full bloom at this time of the year. I am inserting a picture taken on that walk. Enjoy! I will miss so much of this country...but realize that I will also enjoy the beauty of Canada when I arrive home. Every country (or at least everyone I have been privileged to see) has its own beauty. I'm not sure if this picture is mine or Glen's but you get the picture of the beauty of the Jacarondas.
Part of the busyness as we prepare to leave is simply trying to wrapup four and one half years of life here. It is quite amazing how even when one is trying to live simply, how much stuff one can accumulate. However, there is no problem finding someone who can use what we choose not to bring home to Canada.
It never ceases to be a humbling experience as we realize how truly blessed we are and at the same time how extravegant I am. And here I speak only for myself but perhaps I will become more of a minimalist when I return to canada...having learned that I can indeed live more simply. No promises though, as I know myself and it seems, I live according to my means but I will intentionally try harder to share what I have with those who do not have. I have learned a lot about myself while living in this struggling economy. It probably will take me some time (perhaps the rest of my life) to sort out exactly what I have learned about myself but then isn't learning a never-ending thing. AND the learning continues.
It is so good to connect with so many of you via Skype. It minimizes the distance and reminds me that the world is not so large afterall.
Perhaps this will be the last blog I send from Zimbabwe for now, but I will try to keep in touch even from Canada so that all of you can continue to follow the adventures. I am already looking forward to mid-March when I will return again to Zimbabwe. I'm looking at returning twice a year, March-April and Sept.-Oct. for the next three years.
Trusting this blog is not too confusing as I simply jotted down ideas as they came to mind. God Bless you all.
Sent with much love